Basic English Grammar (Part 1) - English Language Proficiency & Communication Skills


The parts of speech explain how a word is used in a sentence.
There are eight main parts of speech (also know as word classes): nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections.
Most parts of speech can be divided into sub-classes. Prepositions can be divided into prepositions of time, prepositions of place etc. Nouns can be divided into proper nouns, common nouns, concrete nouns etc.
The eight main parts of speech in English are:

NOUN - (Naming word)
A noun is the name of a person, place, thing or idea.
Examples of nouns: Daniel, London, table, dog, teacher, pen, city, happiness, hope
Example sentences: Steve lives in SydneyMary uses pen and paper to write letters.

PRONOUN - (Replaces a Noun)
A pronoun is used in place of a noun or noun phrase to avoid repetition.
Examples of pronouns: I, you, we, they, he, she, it, me, us, them, him, her, this, those
Example sentences: Mary is tired. She wants to sleep. I want her to dance with me.

ADJECTIVE - (Describing word)
An adjective describes, modifies or gives more information about a noun or pronoun.
Examples: big, happy, green, young, fun, crazy, three
Example sentences: The little girl had a pink hat.
VERB - (Action Word)
verb shows an action or state of being. A verb shows what someone or something is doing.
Examples: go, speak, run, eat, play, live, walk, have, like, are, is
Example sentences: I like Woodward English. I study their charts and play their games.

ADVERB - (Describes a verb)
An adverb describes/modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb. It tells how, where, when, how often or to what extent. Many adverbs end in -LY
Examples: slowly, quietly, very, always, never, too, well, tomorrow, here
Example sentences: I am usually busy. Yesterday, I ate my lunch quickly.

PREPOSITION - (Shows relationship)
preposition shows the relationship of a noun or pronoun to another word. They can indicate time, place, or relationship.
Examples: at, on, in, from, with, near, between, about, under
Example sentences: I left my keys on the table for you.

CONJUNCTION - (Joining word)
conjunction joins two words, ideas, phrases or clauses together in a sentence and shows how they are connected.
Examples: and, or, but, because, so, yet, unless, since, if.
Example sentences: I was hot and exhausted but I still finished the marathon.

INTERJECTION - (Expressive word)
An interjection is a word or phrase that expresses a strong feeling or emotion. It is a short exclamation.
Examples: Ouch! Wow! Great! Help! Oh! Hey! Hi!
Example sentences: Wow! I passed my English test. Great! – Ouch! That hurt.

ARTICLE - (Defining word) (an adjective)

An article is used before a noun. These are divided into definite (the) and indefinite (a, an). Articles help define nouns.
Examples: a, an, the
Example sentences: I need a dictionary. The dictionary needs to be in English.

What Is a Sentence? (With Examples of the Different Types of Sentence)
A sentence is a group of words which expresses a complete thought.

A sentence must contain a subject and a verb.

Subject: The subject of a sentence is the person or thing doing the action or being describe


·          Sandra ate the pie.
(Sandra is the subject of the sentence. Sandra is the subject of the main verb ate; i.e., Sandra is doing the action.)
·         Luke is putting on weight.
(Luke is the subject of the sentence. Luke is the subject of the main verb is; i.e., Luke is being described.)

Verb: Verbs are often described as doing words. A verb usually tells us what action is being performed.

·         He ate the cake.
·         She read the book.
Verbs can express a physical actions, mental actions, or states of being. For example:

Verbs Expressing Physical Actions

Verbs that express physical actions are the ones that spring to mind when most people think about verbs. Such verbs are easy to spot because the action can be easily envisaged. Here are some examples of verbs expressing physical actions:
·         to swim
·         to write
·         to climb

Verbs Expressing Mental Actions

Not all actions are physical. Some are mental. Here are some examples of verbs expressing mental actions:
·         to think
·         to wonder
·         to guess


Verbs that are expressing a state of being (i.e., just existing) are also an action. Below are some examples of verbs that express a state of being. The most common one (in fact, the most common verb of all) is the verb to be.
·         to be
·         to exist
·         to appear